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Why haven’t weapons of mass destruction turned up inside Iraq? The United States is sending in reinforcements to find out.

Army Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, a Defense Intelligence Agency official heads a new team of searchers dispatched to Iraq to hunt for banned weapons.

Dayton said last week that Iraq may have carried out a deception operation concerning their chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs.

He characterized intelligence information about Iraq’s arms as “pretty credible.”

“I thought it was credible. I still do. And I think that we may get lucky. We may not. We may find out three months from now that there was a very elaborate deception program going on that resulted in destruction of stuff. I have no idea. That’s what I’m going out there to find out.”

Some 300 intelligence officials left for Iraq last weekend to replace the 75th Intelligence Exploitation Group, a combat support team whose main mission was making sure Iraq did not use its weapons against coalition forces.

The new team will be investigating what happened to the Iraqi arms.

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